When Following Your Passion as a Career, Proceed With Caution

February 28th, 2014

Has anyone ever said to you, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”? Have you found that job yet? Most people haven’t, and that may not be a bad thing. Why?

For one thing, most people don’t have longstanding passions that can be transformed into a career. For another, decades of studies on workplace motivation and satisfaction prove that more general aspects of work like autonomy and a feeling of competence are more likely to give you satisfaction—and these are traits that can be cultivated in many different jobs.

So instead of thinking that there’s the perfect career or position out there just waiting for you to discover it, focus on getting the most out of what you have now. Here are three strategies that can help:

  • Focus on what you offer your job, not what your job offers you. Experts who study workplace satisfaction have noted that the more valuable you are to your organization, the more satisfaction you’ll get out of your job. So ask yourself, “How can I get better at what I do?” When you gain that sense of autonomy and competence, you’ll feel better about your career.
  • Recognize your value, then use it. Becoming valuable to your organization and achieving that satisfaction can be great. But if you’re looking for an exceptional career path, don’t stop there. Use your value as leverage to move closer to your dream lifestyle. For example, if you seek simplicity, use your importance to your employers to negotiate the ability to work remotely—then relocate to a more idyllic location. Be patient in building skills, but then recognize and exploit your value once earned.
  • Be flexible, not specific. Instead of trying to find your one true calling, remember that there are many different jobs that can be transformed into a source of passion. When choosing between positions, or deciding whether to leave a current position, ask yourself: “Will this job offer me interesting options if I start to become really good at what I do?” The more you answer in the positive, the better the position. Don’t worry about the specifics of what you’ll be doing if this will change as your career progresses.

One of the best ways to build your skills, increase your value and practice flexibility is by working with a reputable staffing firm to help advance your career. If you’re looking for the chance to develop your talents and your passion, call Synerfac. We can connect you to the work environment and career path that’s right for you!

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